CSG-certifies a Pair of Prized Mickey Mantle Cards

Posted on 9/29/2021

Bowman’s 1951 Mickey Mantle is considered the baseball icon’s true rookie card.

The experts at Certified Sports Guaranty® (CSG™) were honored to grade two examples of sought-after cards featuring baseball batting powerhouse Mickey Mantle.

The 1951 and 1968 Mickey Mantle cards bookend the celebrated career of the New York Yankee slugger and seven-time World Series champion. A switch hitter who led the American League in home runs for four of his 18 seasons, Mantle was regularly known to hit balls out of the stadium. The unparalleled distance achieved by Mantle’s hits earned them the name “Tape Measure Homers.” His longest recorded home run was a 565-foot shot hit out of Griffith Stadium in Washington, DC.

Click images to enlarge.

While Mantle’s epic homers thrilled fans, it was just one of many factors that led to him becoming a baseball icon. As a result of his fame, Mickey Mantle cards, especially his Bowman rookie year card, are highly prized by collectors and consistently demand top prices.

The 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle #253 is graded CSG 1.5, with sub-grades of 1.5 for Centering and Surface, 4 for Corners and 5.5 for Edges. The image on the front is unique among Mantle cards as it shows him wearing a No. 6 Yankee jersey, which he only wore during his rookie year. Mantle’s No. 7 jersey, which he started wearing during his second year, was retired by the Yankees in 1969.

Mantle started 1951 in the pros, but was sent back to New York’s farm league after experiencing a hitting slump. He returned to the pros later in the season and netted 13 home runs and 65 RBIs for the Yankees in 96 games. While 1952 marked Mantle’s first complete season in the pros, the 1951 Bowman card is considered Mantle’s true rookie card. A 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle #253 graded CSG 2.0 recently sold for $7,501 on eBay.

The 1968 Topps Mickey Mantle #280 is graded CSG 9, with sub-grades of 9 for Corners and Edges and 9.5 for Centering and Surface. Experts estimate it to have a value of at least $8,000.

The 1968 Topps card marks the season before Mantle retired and the first in which his fielding position was listed as “First Base.” The back of the card details the impressive batting stats Mantle compiled over his 20 seasons in amateur and professional baseball. It also highlights that “Mickey holds a World Series mark of 18 homers,” a record that still stands more than half a century later.


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